Case study - Nukuhou saltmarsh and Ohiwa care groups
Nukuhou saltmarsh and Ohiwa care groups
Ohiwa Reserves Care Group
The Ohiwa Reserves Care Group has looked after Whangakopikopiko (Tern) Island and the Ohiwa Domain for several years. The Island is an important breeding place for rare birds such as the white fronted tern and Northern NZ dotterel. Variable oystercatcher numbers in particular have increased considerably thanks to the predator control. There is extensive predator control on the Island and predators, including stoats and rats, are controlled through trapping. The Group also carries out trapping in the Domain.
Students from Waiotahe School are also regular helpers on the Island. They have planted native plants, including the rare 'Thornton' kanuka, which is native to the Island.
Care Group helps whitebait and birds
The Nukuhou Saltmarsh Care Group at Cheddar Valley has actively cared for the saltmarsh and the nearby river mouth since 2003.
Fernbird and banded rail numbers have increased dramatically as a result of the Group's predator-trapping activity. During the last seven years, the Group has trapped 167 stoats and 88 weasels around the margins of the saltmarsh and fernbird numbers have more than doubled as a result.
The Group recently dug swales, or ditches, beside the Nukuhou River near the 'S' bend at Cheddar Valley, to provide a spawning area for whitebait.
The team has also built a riverside walkway, constructed an interpretation point and a board walk into the marsh and planted hundreds of native plants through the area.
In 2012 the group expanded their work to carry out pest control (rats, stoats and possums) on Uretara Island in conjunction with DOC. Weeds on the island are also under attack. Annual bird monitoring will show whether they are making a differnce.
Download the Nukuhou Saltmarsh Care Group brochure (3 MB, pdf).